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Smoke from the Western wildfires has reached the East Coast, and it’s causing air-quality issues and hazy skies

Summary List PlacementSmoke from wildfires across the Western US and Canada has reached the upper Midwest and the East Coast, causing air quality issues and hazy skies as far away as New York and Massachusetts. The smoke, traveling high up into the atmosphere from several fires, has drifted into a...

Smoke rises from the Dixie Fire burning along Highway 70 in Plumas National Forest, Calif., on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Summary List Placement

Smoke from wildfires across the Western US and Canada has reached the upper Midwest and the East Coast, causing air quality issues and hazy skies as far away as New York and Massachusetts.

The smoke, traveling high up into the atmosphere from several fires, has drifted into a number of states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota, parts of Indiana and Pennsylvania, as well as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, according to graphics shared by the National Weather Service on Twitter.

In parts of New York, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, and elsewhere, Air Quality Index readings have been recorded at unhealthy levels this week thanks to the wildfires, including Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, air resource adviser Margaret Key told Reuters.

“Wildfire smoke exposure also increases susceptibility to respiratory infections including COVID, increases severity of such infections, and makes recovery more difficult,” Key told Reuters.

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But along with air quality issues, the smoke will also bring “hazy skies & spectacular sunsets for many,” the NWS said.

“Sunsets look prettier, redder, more colorful,” NWS meteorologist Bob Orevec of the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, told Reuters.

Among the wildfires burning on the West Coast is the Bootleg Fire, which has scorched nearly 400,000 acres and is only 30% contained by firefighters. The massive blaze has produced its own weather patterns and can even be seen from space.

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